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Facebook Industry Micro-shifts: trends to follow for e-commerce

By December 25, 2020March 3rd, 2021No Comments

66 days. This is the time needed to adopt new habits according to several psychological research studies. Following the Covid-19 epidemic, Facebook launched the Industry Micro-Shifts initiative, a vast 4-month study to track the evolution of consumer behavior in 16 countries and to dissect the impact of the health crisis in 10 industrial sectors. These trends were measured over 3 one-month periods from May to August 2020.


In recent months, e-commerce has experienced a new boom. For all sectors, a large part of the shopping activity is now done online. From discovery to the act of buying, through interaction with brands. What lessons can we learn from this very special period? And how should we think about e-commerce today ?

An intangible: zero friction

According to the study, 1 in 3 French people say they now prefer to buy products online that they would have usually bought in a store. All categories are concerned: beauty, food, clothing and household products. As explained Guillaume Cavaroc, Director of the Retail and E-commerce Pole at Facebook : “E-commerce had been in a growth phase for several years, and the health crisis we have just gone through has accelerated this trend: Kantar has counted 2.5 million additional French people who became cyber buyers during the containment period.”

Even with these new buyers, the main requirements when choosing a site remain virtually unchanged. In the first place, we find, the price at 65%. Then 60% convenience. And finally, 60% reliability also. Very closely followed, shipping options and return policies at 58%. In other words, buyers always expect cheaper items, with the ability to order and be delivered simply and confidently.

But it is difficult to remove all potential barriers as practices intensify: 78% of users have experienced at least one friction during their last purchases.These frictions generally relate to the costs of delivery, the impossibility to test, touch or see the product in real life or, the lack of confidence in the security of payment. Frustrations or fears that are not new but remain complicated to evacuate.

Towards a more immersive e-commerce

Containment has prevented consumers from going into stores and health restrictions still limit their visits. To overcome this, they are at the Looking for more immersive and authentic ways to interact with brands and their products. They would like brands to make more use of digital in order to maintain discovery despite the difficulties of the period we are going through.

From this point of view, live, augmented reality or virtual reality represent favourable fields of expression. 1 out of 2 online shoppers (50%) consults tutorial videos to do their shopping, and 1 out of 5 (22%) consults live streams. Millennials are 3 times more likely to have used an augmented or virtual reality service compared to the rest of consumers. Even more striking, another Facebook study reveals that in the world, 86% of consumers are open to augmented reality brand experiences. And 63% say they want  “virtually try products from the comfort of your own home”.*

A relatively opportune context in which many experiments have been carried out. Dior and Ikea have recreated their stores in 3D so that they can be visited from a cell phone or computer. Also allowing customers to get product information at the click of a button. Or Sephora who, on the occasion of the release of their first perfume “Do not drink”, has developed augmented reality filters to highlight the composition of fragrances and allow users to project themselves in their different atmospheres.
Towards a more social and conversational e-commerce

Finally, as mentioned in previous articles, messaging services and online communities are becoming more and more popular shape another form of e-commerce experience. How ? By adding a much more social and conversational dimension to the image of what happens in real life.

Messaging services are becoming an essential lever in the relationship between brands and consumers. Today, 42% of consumers in France have already contacted a company through a messaging system. And 19% of them finalized a transaction there. But beware, when we talk about messaging we tend to think only “purchase” or “customer service” but the use of messaging is evolving more and more to position itself upstream of the funnel and generate discovery.

As for the online communities, they are playing an increasing role in the purchasing decision and the relationship to products. At least that’s what the study shows when it asked consumers about their reasons for participating in these communities. Most of them say they use it to look for tutorials (40%) or product recommendations (22%). For many, it is also a way to find good deals (32%).

Thus, this Facebook study greatly confirms what we think of the Hub. There is no one way to do e-commerce but dozens of : direct sales, e-commerce, chatbot, livestream, voice commerce… It remains to define the method best suited to each business because the field is very rich and constantly changing

15 types de e-commerce tableau

E-Commerce Matrix V.1.2 – HUB Institute, all rights reserved – Available for download here

Read also : Back to Business: what future for e-commerce ?

*Facebook IQ source: “Emerging Trends Research” Sep 2020

Article written by : Keltoum Lehbab

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